Ladner Marsh Trip Report – May 21, 2017

It was a gorgeous sunny day, something we haven’t had for a while so everyone was eager to get on the water. The trip leader was April W. and the paddlers were Pam F., Mike D., Suzanna H., John G. and 2 new members Christine McG. and Bruce M. and a potential new member, James O.  That gave us 4 tandem canoes.  Mike D. is known to always arrive ahead of the meeting time, but this time it looked like he would be the last to arrive.  Everyone else was there.  Turned out he had been using his cell phone to phone April to tell her that he was on his way, and not to leave without him, and he got caught by the police for using his cell phone while driving!!!  So he was a bit late but got no ticket.  The officer checked his driving record, which was clean, and gave him a warning this time.  Yahoo!  Saved close to $400.00 on that!

We launched at Wellington Park in Ladner and our take out was Deas Island Regional Park.  We were paddling upriver because we launched just after the tide had turned to come in, and we wanted to take advantage of the tidal push upriver which would be slightly more than the natural downriver current.  It was hot and no shade because it is flat, marsh land – lots of grasses growing on muddy river banks, no trees along the bank.  We had our lunch rafted together because the muddy bank would have swallowed us up to who knows where if we had stepped out of the canoe.  However all that mud did lead James to tell a tale about a Italian man named Canneloni Riosotto who  arrived in the Ladner marshes around 1600 and thought the Fraser River flowing around the river islands looked so much like Venice with its canals that he build a city on the Ladner marshes to rival any port city in Europe.  Sadly the city did not survive the persistent silting action of the Fraser and is now buried beneath many meters of mud.  Bruce also told us about how recent discoveries have been made that the Chinese sailed their junks across the Pacific, around the tip of South America and into the Mediterranean Sea as early as 1421-1428!  Now that is before Columbus got to America.  Bruce’s source was some newly  published marine archeology research.  James ‘ source was ?

We saw herons, a pair of swans, Canada geese and Bruce and Christine reported seeing a white sturgeon just breaking the surface of the water.  

After lunch we took up our paddles, applied more sun screen and paddled onward.  We watched an enormous empty freighter, the type that looks like a monstrous shoe box, go up the main south arm of the Fraser, heading up to one of the loading terminals.  We were a good mile away but felt  VERY small in our canoes.  It wasn’t  just hot now, but becoming muggy and we were glad to land at the park’s beach and get out and stretch our legs and find some shade.  

We all had a great day together.  I would recommend that some of our new club members consider joining a “day” paddle – it is a great opportunity for current and new members to get to know one another better and share “amazing” stories…

Pam Farish

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